High temperatures across northern China drove up coal generation in June. And with the coming months likely to be just as hot, speculative buying drove strong demand for thermal coal and pushed prices up. FOB QHD 5,500 increased to RMB588/t at the end of June. But eager to stop prices exceeding 'unreasonable' levels, the government has stepped in and is encouraging miners to release new supply into the market. Metallurgical coal prices continue to move in the other direction as output registered another month-on-month increase. Benchmark Liulin #4 HCC FOR prices fell by RMB50/t to RMB1,260/t at the end of June. This time, four major coking coal producers have agreed to cut production for a few months to prevent prices falling. In the seaborne market, the rumours of action against coal imports to protect domestic producers are looking more credible. The customs clearance process is reportedly taking longer at ports while a ban on coal imports at some smaller ports is making the news.